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New Inspection Device Using Infrared Technology To Be Tested on Big Trucks in Four States

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

New Inspection Device Using Infrared Technology To Be Tested on Big Trucks in Four States

Federal Highway Administration
May 17, 1999

Monday, May 17, 1999
Contact: Virginia Miller
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 35 -99

SHELBYVILLE, Ky.—U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today joined transportation officials from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee at a demonstration of an infra-red technology imaging device that could improve highway safety by helping to inspect commercial trucks for faulty equipment.

"New technology like the Infrared Inspection System can supplement our efforts to improve safety, President Clinton’s highest transportation priority, in the 21st century," Secretary Slater said. "The number of commercial vehicles subject to federal and state oversight has grown, and we are committed to reducing the unacceptably high number of crashes involving them on our highways."

The safety event today helped launch the nationwide observance of National Transportation Week (May 16-22).

Kentucky will be the first of the four states to test the Infrared Inspection System (IRISystem) during a two-year pilot project. The project is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and a four-state consortium composed of Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee. FHWA provided $270,000 for the IRISystem, and the consortium, $135,950 for operational, personnel and training costs.

"Nothing is more important to FHWA than highway safety," said FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle. "We are committed to researching technologies that will improve truck safety."

The IRISystem is designed to detect faulty brakes as well as exhaust leaks, over-inflated tires, hot wheel-bearings, and other mechanical problems. According to the FHWA’s Office of Safety and Motor Carriers, faulty brakes is the most frequently cited inspection violation for motor carriers.

The imaging is designed to allow inspectors to focus on trucks and buses with faulty brakes while other trucks and buses may not have to stop for time-consuming random brake roadside inspections. The screening will take place at highway speeds–trucks and buses won’t even have to slow down unless they are pulled over because a problem is detected.

National Transportation Week each year provides an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments in transportation and the important role transportation systems play in growing the U.S. economy and in providing Americans the means to get where they need to go.


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